There is a monkey on the back of the current Arsenal team and it has been there for eight years now. I am, of course, talking about the trophy drought, which is really starting to bug the fans, especially as the English media cannot wait to bring it up at the drop of the hat. Remember Carl Jenkinson’s post-match interview following the fantastic victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena?
There has to be no doubt that over the last few seasons Arsenal have faced a lot of negativity from most people in the footballing world. Back in 2009-2010 when the club was chasing the Premier League title mid to late season, everything looked good and the club seemed to be competing once again with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.
Ok so the club didn’t win the title or anything else that season but the fans were happy and we thought new players would be brought in to improve the squad but they weren’t. Arsenal finally had a chance to win something when they faced Birmingham City in the Carling Cup final and it was pretty much a done deal before the match according to everybody but the Birmingham fans.
Will Walcott’s Comments Come into Action? by AH
Despite being just 24-years old, Theo Walcott is now one of Arsenal’s senior players at the club as he looks to enter his 9th successive campaign with Arsenal following his arrival from Southampton in the 2005/2006 season.
It may not seem that long but as a player with that much experience at the club he is now seen as one of the most influential off the pitch.
Walcott has stated that Arsenal’s main ambition is always to compete for the Premier League title however he admits that they do struggle a lot because they don’t realise what they are truly capable of.
One of the many positions that Arsenal are looking to strengthen is the one between the goalposts. Arsene Wenger believes that Wojciech Szczesny needs another quality keeper at the club to push him and get the best out of him. Wenger thinks he is a little too comfortable in his number one role, while also worrying that the reserve keepers are not quite good enough in case Szczesny picks up another injury.
Arsenal have received a clear signal from Birmingham City that they are willing to sell their £6 million rated goalkeeper Jack Butland. The midland team play Leeds United tonight in an FA cup replay, but Butland has been left out of the squad, because the club do not want any p0tential buyer to be put off because he is cup-tied.
Arsenal have been looking for another keeper as cover and competition for the 22-year old Polish international Wojciech Szczesny, and Butland is seen as possessing all the attributes to be world class. Arsene Wenger does not feel that Vito Mannone is good enough at the moment, and he is considering releasing Lukas Fabianski altogether, with Nottingham Forest apparently interested.
A new keeper to challenge the current Arsenal number one, Wojciech Szczesny is one of the transfer targets on Arsene Wenger’s January shopping list. After being linked with a number of older players, such as Pepe Reina from Liverpool, the Prof seems to have gone the other way as he is preparing a bid for the 19-year old stopper from Birmingham City, Jack Butland.
If the report in the Daily Star is accurate, Birmingham will be willing to sell their star asset because of financial restraints, and Arsenal think a bid of around £6 million will be enough to make Butland a Gunner. This would mean that Wenger is not just looking for an understudy to keep the Polish international on his toes, but is looking to the future.
The 19-year-old goalkeeper Jack Butland has been given the honor of joining the English squad which will travel to the EURO 2012, after Norwich’s goalkeeper Ruddy broke his finger and had to be replaced.
Butland has been a long term target for Wenger, and now that the goalkeeper has been called up for the first time and Fabianski is leaving Arsenal, it’s the perfect moment for the switch to occur if the Frenchman’s really interested in his services.
Birmingham’s current manager, Chris Hughton seems to think that Butland has the skills needed to cope at such a high level, and stated: “It’ll be great for his experience and development, I don’t think he would be fazed by it,”
It has been revealed today that Arsenal are set to sign a young Birmingham City starlet called Foday Nabay who has already been called up to the England U16 side when he was just 12 years-old.
Now 13 it seems that he has been at Birmingham for six years, but Arsene Wenger is arranging for him to join the Arsenal Academy, and according to SkySports, Arsenal had a bid for Nabay knocked back by the Midlands club last month but are set to go back to agree a deal next week.
With the first-team goalkeeping situation of the last few seasons at last looking resolved, Arsenal are reportedly preparing a bid for Birmingham stopper Jack Butland. The England Under-21 player hasn’t conceded a goal since mid-September and is looking to progress his career after receiving the national call-up.
Butland is just one inch shorter than giant Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny at 6 ft 4in, and his impressive displays for Cheltenham Town – the club at which he is currently on loan – have led to him being rewarded with a new four year contract, despite having not made a single appearance for the Blues.
It seems that Arsene Wenger has decided to move on to the cheaper alternative of Birmingham’s Scott Dann after finding the competition for Gary Cahill getting too hot with Man City, Chelsea and Tottenham all trying to get the Bolton and England defender.
The Mirror reports that the Arsenal boss is hoping that he will get a clear run on taking Dann to the Emirates, although it seems that Chelsea’s new boss Andre Villas-Boas is also checking out the Birmingham centre-back as a possible alternative to Gary Cahill as well.
Arsene Wenger was extremely pleased with the way that his team handled the “physical challenges” of Birmingham City to record an impressive 3-0 win at St. Andrews yesterday and the way they refused to let Alex McLeish’s side stop them playing their free-flowing football.
“We were prepared today to face the challenges, physical challenges.” Wenger said after the match.
“We prepared ourselves as well not to lose our game plan, to be calm and to focus on putting the ball down and playing our game.
“We had the chances in the first half, got stronger and stronger and in the second half we played an outstanding game.
The Birmingham boss Alex McLeish thinks that his team are looking forward to taking more points off the “big teams” when Arsenal visit St. Andrews in the New Year, and says that his team are feeling confident after earning a draw in the same fixture last season.
Arsene Wenger complained bitterly after the game about the pitch, the referee, and Birmingham’s strong tackling, and McLeish is hoping for more of the same this time around!
“I did take it as a compliment.” he said. “I knew that, psychologically, that had an effect.
“We know Arsenal are capable of turning anybody over on their day, but if they feel a bit nervy, that could just give us a bit extra.